• Hilma Af Klint, The Ten Largest, 1907, oil and tempura on paper, XXX.

    “Hilma Af Klint: A Pioneer of Abstraction”

    Moderna Museet | Stockholm
    February 16–May 26, 2013

    Curated by Iris Müller-Westermann

    A few of us may still remember the 1989 exhibition “Secret Pictures by Hilma af Klint” at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the title is still apt. Much of the artist’s work has been carefully kept as a kind of time capsule by her family’s foundation, unseen in more than eight decades. Now, with this essential retrospective—the culmination of Müller-Westermann’s multiyear research into the artist’s work—we can finally embrace the truth: Af Klint invented geometric abstract painting, just preceding Kandinsky and Malevich. Some might ascribe her work’s bracing strangeness to her devotion to theosophist ideas. Especially important today is her symbolic language of form—not a personal, universalist, or logical language, but a searching one that might redeem abstraction from its so-called dead ends.